When the visiting Lady Bobcats of Myrtle Point took to the hardwood of Gold Beach High’s Colvin Court last Friday, MPHS knew it was going to be a cat fight.
Head Coach Dave Larsen’s undefeated Bobcats were 2-0 in Sunset Conference play with wins over bunk mates Walport and Reedsport. Their host Gold Beach, also 2-0, edged Toledo 61-58 in a game where the Boomers had given the Lady Panthers everything they could handle and had bested Bandon, 56-23.
It would be an important game for both schools.
A see-saw battle ensued with the lead trading hands several times. Myrtle Point had a slim 2-point lead at the half, 17-15.
Gold Beach Basketball boss Chris Clark said there was a reason for that.
“Myrtle Point came out very fast and we had to play them hard, maybe a little too hard,” he said.
Clark was referring to one of his team’s leaders, Paris Newdall, who got into foul trouble early on, resulting in a spot on the bench. A calculation the veteran GBHS coach made to ensure Newdall would be around to finish the game.
It turned out to be a good call.
“Paris is so important to the rest of the team’s chemistry, they really feed off of her energy, so I had to back her off a bit but it made a big difference to have her back out there,” Clark said.
With Jordan Rucker holding things together at 12 points in the contest, a newly reinvigorated Gold Beach found their footing and with scrappy play went up by 4 points, 29-25, by the end of the third stanza.
That is when Newdall saved her best for last against a tough MPHS squad refusing to give up, staying firmly in the Lady Panther’s rear view mirror trailing by only 4 points, 31-36, midway through the fourth.
Crashing the boards, Newdall forced the hands of the Bobcats, fouling the Panther senior resulting in a bucket plus a bonus shot; Gold Beach now up 39-31 with 48 seconds left to go.
Myrtle Point responded with a breakaway run to the rack, 39-33. Gold Beach lost the ball on the inbound but when MPHS started to drive in the final seconds, Newdall stole the ball and went to the hoop for two drawing a foul.
With a final swish of the net’ Gold Beach would win it, 42-33.
Gold Beach now sits atop the Sunset Conference with a perfect 3-0 record.